SolarOne joy in Japan, SA

China-based PV manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne said the fast-growing markets of Japan and South Africa now account for almost half of its business between them.

SolarOne, part of the South Korea-based Hanwha group, now makes 28% of its sales in Japan, where a generous feed-in tariff has driven growth.

A further 19% of its modules go to South Africa, where the government has launched a major support programme for renewables via a series of tenders.

Hanwha SolarOne underscored its penetration of new markets as it said it had surpassed 4GW of global module shipments – claiming to be the first Korean company to reach that level.

Earlier this week, fellow group firm Hanwha Q Cells launched a new subsidiary focusing on the US commercial rooftop market.

Hanwha’s 2012 acquisition of Germany’s Q-Cells – one of the biggest names in the global PV industry – led to speculation over the future role of SolarOne in the Korean group’s plans.

Ki-Joon Hong, CEO of Hanwha SolarOne and a vice-chairman of Hanwha Chemical. “We are building a lasting solar company that will power every corner of the world with affordable, clean and reliable solar power.”